5 Tips For Moving In The Summer That’ll Help You Beat The Heat & Stress
Recently, my boyfriend and I moved out of our first apartment. It was a cute and cozy place, with walls covered in band and movie posters and a fridge filled with the best snacks from Trader Joe's. (I'm talking cookie dunkers, brownie crisps, and asparagus risotto here.) But, the lease was about to go up and we found an even better place nearby, so we began collecting bins, gathering our keys, and filling suitcases with our clothes. We spent an entire weekend in the heat of July packing up the waffle maker and other appliances in our kitchen, going through closets, and vacuuming a lot. That's why I feel so qualified to give you some solid tips for moving in the summer that'll help you beat the heat and stress.
Not to overwhelm you or anything, but it's definitely a lot more than I expected it to be. I didn't realize when we first started organizing and cleaning that moving is a lot of 12-hour days, flights of stairs, and rushing back and forth from one destination to the next. It's reserving a truck, purchasing many rolls of bubble wrap, and eating a piece of bread for a snack because the rest of your food is, well, somewhere.
It's a team effort — a job you can't do without the help of your new roomies, besties, or significant other. But, it's also manageable — especially if you keep these five tips in mind.
1. Give Yourself Lots Of Time To Pack And Clean
First things first: If you're moving in the summer, give yourself lots of time to pack up your belongings and clean your current space. Allot an afternoon or two on the weekend to wrap your mugs and dishes in bubble wrap, and an hour before work on a Monday morning to go through the food in your fridge. You'll thank yourself later when you're not so exhausted or stressed about where your items are. Trust me.
Because your roomie, best friend, or significant other will ask you, "Hey, do you know where our plastic containers are?" and you'll have an answer. You'll be able to picture the kind of box they're in, and where in the moving truck that box is. You'll be able to easily find your shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other products you need to take a shower after a long day of hustling and hauling. Phew!
As Courtney Glashow, LCSW owner and psychotherapist at Anchor Therapy in Hoboken, puts it: "The best treat you can give yourself is time when it comes to moving." She notes there are often "unforeseen stressors" you have to deal with on the day of, and that breaking down the process can keep you from feeling overheated or overwhelmed. She advises to make planning a priority in your summer move.
2. Ask Your Friends To Help With The Tough Stuff
Your friends are there for you whenever you need to satisfy your sweet tooth with ice cream or decode a text message from your crush. So, why wouldn't they be there for you when you're moving in the middle of the summer? The answer to that trick question is, they will be there, helping you carry boxes down two flights of stairs and maneuver your couch into the tiny elevator.
They'll bring snacks, water bottles, and smiles, and they'll make the entire experience much less stressful. That's why you can, and really should, ask them for help with the tough stuff, like lifting your furniture, that you can't do by yourself.
Then, when you're going back and forth from your apartment, you should talk and catch up on life. You should make some plans or daydream about the adventure trip on the West Coast you've been hoping to take. Before you know it, the boxes will be moved and you'll feel closer to your besties, too.
3. Make Time For Healthy And Exciting Meals
I can't stress this enough: When you're moving in the summer, make time for healthy meals and hydrating. The sun is likely going to be beating down on you as you load up the truck, and the air conditioner in your apartment might not be running. Finding shade, taking breaks to cool down, and fueling your body will be #necessary.
I spoke with Robert Glatter, MD, and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and Northwell Health who suggests stocking up on watermelon, cherries, grapes, and melon for your summer move, because they're hydrating and have lots of natural sugar. He also advises to take your time, and give yourself breaks to recharge.
"Don’t be a hero by trying to get it all done in record time," he says. "Your body needs rest and time to refuel, too." In addition to keeping you feeling energized and strong, taking breaks will also give you a chance to eat at the restaurants you're moving away from or closer to. It'll let you explore your new area, and find the best vegetarian eateries or bagel places. It'll take your mind off of the moving to-do list that's, well, endless.
4. Keep Your New Home In Mind
When my boyfriend and I moved out of our apartment, I asked my Instagram followers to send us advice, tips, and good motivation. I knew we were going to need it, because the day ahead of us seemed very long and hot. One of the best pieces of advice we received was to keep our new home in mind — to think about the beautiful things to come in the future.
To be honest, it helped so much. It made every box feel like a step in the right direction, and the whole process of moving more exciting and rewarding. It turned my focus away from the countless number of stairs I still needed to do, to being able to decorate, set up our office space, and toss things that we don't need or use.
I also spoke with Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of the new book Training Your Love Intuition, who notes that getting rid of items can be a crucial step in moving. She says to think carefully about taking along the clothes you never wear, or the old mug at the back of the cabinet, and "recruit your friends" if you need a quick opinion on whether to keep or toss.
In addition, she advises to "think of people who could really appreciate having some of things you don't use." Spoiler alert: That's the best feeling when you move. It's your chance to hit a reset button, embrace minimalistic living, and help someone else. It's a reminder that good change is on the horizon, and that it's likely happening with the people you love.
5. Get Enough Sleep And Stretch Often
Last but not least, like eating and drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep is important when you're moving. It prepares your body for a day of heavy lifting, driving, and trash runs. Glashow says getting a solid night's sleep "will help you feel rested the next day so that you can more easily tackle any stressors that come your way."
Sure, you'll likely sit down in your new place at the end of the day and still feel, well, exhausted. (Seriously, did I mention that moving is no joke?) But, you'll be able to stay up and watch a few episodes of your favorite Netflix show to unwind from the day. You'll be able to unpack a box, or take a bubble bath.
During that unwinding sesh, I highly recommend stretching your muscles, too. Moving in the summer is basically one big workout, and you just exceeded all of your goals.